“The world has changed faster than the church, and now it is time for the church to catch up and learn to speak and act in ways that the world can understand.” The ways of old are no longer sufficient to draw people to church. POWER SURGE: Six Marks of Discipleship For a Changing Church by Michael W. Foss provides his opinion on how churches can make the transition easy.
Although POWER SURGE is written for the leaders of the church, it is applicable to everyone in the church because it touches on many aspects of church governance. For some, it is a reminder of what the role of a church “leader/visionary” should be.
POWER SURGE focuses on the obstacles that hinder growth, such as attitudes of entitlement, lack of knowledge, stubbornness, etc. Unfortunately, many church leaders are managers who maintain the status quo rather than take a risk and step out on faith who are responsible for making decisions that will shape the future of their church. The author outlines six critical marks of leadership to help us understand the process:
- Leading From Faith – “[Leaders] should recapture the spiritual roots of their calling.”
- Seeing and Casting the Vision – “No matter what a leader’s vision might be, it must be capable of capturing the hearts and wills of those who follow.”
- Contextualizing the Vision – “To place the vision firmly and realistically within the community’s context . . . The passion of the vision is achieved when the leader entrusts it to the whole community.”
- Aligning the Congregation to the Vision – “Making a personal commitment to spiritual growth with spiritual integrity as an up front requirement, and change the culture of a large organization through the power of a new vision.”
- Continually Communicating the Vision – “Keep repeating the vision and inspiring those who follow to embrace it . . . Leaders all too frequently under-communicate the vision.”
- Change Management – “Manage change through continued implementation because the natural resistance to change does not go away simply because change has been introduced.”
All of the plans, strategies, and programs don’t make a difference if you don’t have a product to sell (think about the vision). The wisdom shared is relatable, applicable, whether reading POWER SURGE individually or as a group, it does not make you more religious, hopefully it will make you and you fellow members more empowered.
THOUGHTS For Your SOUL:
- There is a “High percentage of north american adults who nominally claim to be Christian but whose beliefs have little or no power to shape their lives, let alone add value or significance to their families and communities.
- “Failure and conflict are harsh teachers, but they are teachers. The key is to not get stuck in them but to learn from them and get back to work.”
- “Biblical and theological integrity demands that we make our positions clear.”
- “Persistence is the Siamese twin of courage. Perseverance will overcome great barriers and outlast strong opposition.”
I enjoyed reading POWER SURGE and before you dismiss it as just another “church” book, read it with an open mind because it offers fresh ways of approaching ministry. It reminded me that there is very little difference between the governance of church and running a company. Both revolve around power, control, and while the intentions are admirable, the tendency still leans towards maintaining the status quo and slow to embrace change. While on the other hand, many church leaders crave and relish power/control and don’t want to give it up.
Whether impulsive or cautious, we are still accountable for the change we seek. How can you hold someone to a standard you are not willing to hold yourself to?
Let’s BOND Over BOOKS rates POWER SURGE as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.
Disclaimer – Permission granted from Augsburg Fortress Publishers.